Authors: Phillip Hall
“Where do I go when I die?” is a question that is part of the human condition and you will find answers to it in every culture. Cultures change and shift depending on the influences and conditions they live through and concepts also are moulded and moved to follow these changes. In the development of those Last Things the Church has had a development of ideas and thoughts that range across the faith. The origin of these thoughts begins in Jewish thinking where descriptive terms such as Sheol, Gehenna and Abraham’s Bosom evoke a mixed tapestry that Christianity has taken and run with. There are differences between the cultural Eschatologies around us and the traditional images that Christianity has developed. At times Christianity’s attempts to communicate its Eschatological thought to other cultures has been difficult. This has been because the Christian imagery is too linked to the European/Western imagery that does not translate well. But what if it is possible to dialogue with other cultures in such a way as to learn from their images and symbols of their place of the dead. What could be gained by such a dialogue? Could both sides learn that something is missing in their Eschatology? Is it possible that something that is so strongly evoked in the death and resurrection of Jesus from the place of the dead has been misplaced in Christianity? That by focusing so much on the future and our encounter with the divine we have missed our human connections that still dwell in the place of the dead where Jesus stayed.
Keywords: Christian Development, Cultural Conception, Place Dead